I’ve been working a lot with Stakeholder Plans for large organization change lately, and I was thinking that it would be a good idea to create one for a career plan. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of creating a stakeholder plan yet, it is a way of identifying who has a vested interest (in this case, in your career success) and creating a plan to get their help in achieving your goals.
Who Are Your Stakeholders?
For example, identify who has any kind of an interest in your career success: your boss, your peers, your mentor, your former bosses, your family, your future boss. Anyone, whether they are supportive, neutral or hostile to what you want to accomplish, should go on the list.
Come Up With a Plan
Then identify which career goal each has an interest in and what that level of interest is–your boss may have a high level of interest in your successful delivery of your current performance goals, but no interest at all in your promotion to a position outside his organization. Understanding this, and creating a plan to mitigate your boss’ ambivalence may be essential to getting that promotion. S/he may sabotage your promotion in order to keep you. A stakeholder assessment–that requires you to think through all the players and come up with both an action plan and a communication plan for each, is likely to crystallize your thinking of next steps, and to speed your career on its way.
Once you’ve created a grid similar to the one above, you can create a graphic that divides your stakeholders into categories:
- High Power/High Interest: Manage Closely (like current boss/potential new boss)
- High Power/Low Interest: Keep Satisfied (like peers/organizational customers)
- Low Power /Low Interest: Monitor (like former bosses/distant peers)
- Low Power/High Interest: Keep Informed (like employees/recruiters
Depending on your goals, your organizational situation and your timing, these stakeholders and their position on the grid will be different. The most important part of this is to think it out–where are your key stakeholders on the support continuum, what is in the way of their full support and what can you do about it? People feel threatened by other people’s career success and the more you’re aware of what people are thinking, the better you will be able to manage it. Stakeholders who could be powerful supporters for your career goals may not know what they are–this exercise can help you identify that issue and come up with a great plan to solve it.